US8366549B2 - Controller - Google Patents

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Publication number
US8366549B2
US8366549B2 US13049639 US201113049639A US8366549B2 US 8366549 B2 US8366549 B2 US 8366549B2 US 13049639 US13049639 US 13049639 US 201113049639 A US201113049639 A US 201113049639A US 8366549 B2 US8366549 B2 US 8366549B2
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Prior art keywords
handle
controller
gimbal
telescoping
sensor
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US13049639
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US20120021834A1 (en )
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Ernesto Garcia
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Ernesto Garcia
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/20Input arrangements for video game devices
    • A63F13/24Constructional details thereof, e.g. game controllers with detachable joystick handles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/10Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals
    • A63F2300/1006Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals having additional degrees of freedom
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/10Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals
    • A63F2300/1043Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals being characterized by constructional details
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/60Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program
    • A63F2300/6009Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program for importing or creating game content, e.g. authoring tools during game development, adapting content to different platforms, use of a scripting language to create content

Abstract

A controller (1) converts physical movement in eight directions of motion into electrical signals. The controller (1) has two opposed handles (2 a , 2 b) connected together using a gimbal (150) having a telescoping device (200) that is rotatable relative to the gimbal (150). The telescoping device (200) has an inner member (18) that is biased in either telescoping direction using one spring. The inner member (18) can be locked along either of the telescoping directions using a locking device (26). The gimbal (150) has four sensors sensing movement of one handle (2 a) relative to the other handle (2 b).

Description

FIELD

The present invention relates to a controller, particularly though not solely to a game controller.

BACKGROUND

A joypad is a prior art game controller commonly used in video games. The joypad uses two thumb sticks to manipulate the position and spatial view of a gamer during video gaming. Thus the joypad's accuracy may be determined by thumb dexterity. The thumbs sticks may be difficult and cumbersome to use for someone new to controlling a physical device or a computer-simulated device requiring navigation.

Many new gamers or experienced gamers may find themselves not knowing their location or may loose control of their screen position during game play. The use of thumbs may provide accurate positioning after great amounts of practice to locate a moving target or coordinate. Misuse of the thumb control may cause simulator sickness or motion sickness thus causing headaches or tunnel vision. This may be caused by the improper control of the thumb sticks not coordinating with brain activity.

International Patent publication number WO2005103869 discloses a game controller with two handles connected by a ball joint.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In general terms the present invention provides a controller with a more intuitive control of desired actions. The controller has a coupling mechanism which provides up to eight directions of motion while providing accurate manipulation of a physical device or a computer simulated device using both hands. This may have the advantage of improved positional accuracy and reduced simulation sickness.

The controller may sense the relative movement of one handle relative to another handle with up to eight directions of motion.

The controller may control movement of a physical device or a virtual device within a computer environment. The controller may have four sensors each having two directions of motion for detecting movement. The controller may have two handles, each handle being gripped by a user's hand. The handles may be connected by a gimbal and a telescoping device. The gimbal may provide four directions of motion and the telescoping device (also being rotatable relative to the gimbal) providing another four directions of motion.

The gimbal may provide pivotable motion of one handle relative to the other similar to that of a universal joint. The telescoping device allows one handle to be translatable relative to the other handle and the telescoping device becomes rotatable relative to the gimbal providing rotation of the other handle relative to the telescoping axis while one of the two handles becomes fixed. Thus the combination of the gimbal and the telescopic device may give six directions of relative rotatable motion similar to that of a ball joint, with the addition of two directions of relative translation motion.

The handles may be symmetrical and have a shape similar to a foot silhouette or tear drop. One of the handles may contain a ball socket while the other handle contains a section of a ball portion that correspond to the ball socket to simulate a ball joint. A resilient member may be between the handles to hide the telescoping device and simulated ball joint.

The telescoping device may have a lock to prevent the telescoping device from being operated.

Each handle may include a thumb cavity where buttons, a D-pad, or any other controller module may be installed or projected. Each of the handles may be provided with additional trigger buttons for the index fingers.

The controller may be applicable to video games, simulation, artillery, robotics, any form of vehicle, or combinations thereof.

In a first specific expression of the invention there is provided a controller as claimed in claim 1 or claim 25.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the invention may be fully understood and readily put into practical effect there shall now be described by way of non-limitative example only, example embodiments described below with reference to the accompanying illustrative drawings in which:

FIG. 1A shows a top view of the left handle of the controller.

FIG. 1B shows a right side view of the left handle of the controller.

FIG. 1C shows an isometric view of the bottom shell of left handle.

FIG. 1D shows an isometric view of the bottom shell of the right handle.

FIG. 2 shows an isometric view of the gimbal and the telescoping device.

FIG. 2A shows a back view of the isometric view shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 2B shows a top view of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 2C shows a cross-sectional vie of FIG. 2B.

FIG. 3 shows an isometric view of a first cover of the gimbal.

FIG. 4 shows an outer frame of the gimbal.

FIG. 5 shows an isometric view of the anti-rotation stud.

FIG. 6 shows an isometric back view of the second cover of the gimbal.

FIG. 7 shows an isometric front view of the second cover.

FIG. 8 shows a side view of the second cover.

FIG. 9 shows an isometric view of the outer member of the telescoping device.

FIG. 10 shows a front view of the outer member shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 shows a cross-sectional view 11-11 of the outer member of the telescoping device shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 shows an isometric view of the inner member of the telescoping device.

FIG. 13 shows an isometric view of a cap.

FIG. 14 shows a front view of the cap shown in FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 shows an isometric view of the leaf spring.

FIG. 16 shows a front view of the outer member of the telescoping device.

FIG. 17 shows an exploded view of a cap, a spring blocker and an outer member of a telescoping device.

FIGS. 18 a-18 c show the movements of the right handle relative to the left handle.

FIG. 19 shows an schematic showing a set up of control.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A controller 1 according to the first example embodiment pertains to spatial control of at least one physical device or at least one computer simulated device. The controller communicates with a computer and converts physical movement into electrical signals providing control of the physical device or the computer-simulated device. The controller allows a user to steer, fly, or move in three dimensions.

For example FIG. 18 a shows the controller 1 having a left handle or first handle 2 a, a right handle or second handle 2 b, and a resilient member 1 a. The handles 2 a, 2 b are shaped to be comfortable for the user to hold, for example a foot silhouette or tear drop shape.

The controller 1 includes a number of sensors to detect the movement of the first handle 2 a relative to the second handle 2 b. As seen in FIGS. 18 a-18 c eight directions of motion or 4 degrees of freedom are able to be detected. In FIG. 18 a, a counter clockwise movement 40 a and clockwise movement 40 b of the right handle relative to fixed point 40 are the first and second directions of motion, or first degree of freedom. This is detected by sensor 6 d in FIG. 2 a as is described later. In FIG. 18 c, an upward movement 43 a and a downward movement 43 b, corresponding to counter clockwise movement and clockwise movement of the right handle relative to the fixed point 40, are the third and forth directions of motion, or second degree of freedom. This counter clockwise and clockwise movements 43 a, 43 b, are detected by sensor 6 c in FIG. 2 a as is described later. In FIG. 18 a, right movement 41 a and left movement 41 b of the right handle, relative to the fixed point 40, are the fifth and sixth directions of motion, or third degree of freedom. This is detected by sensor 6 a in FIG. 2 a as is described later. In FIG. 18 b, a clockwise movement 42 a and a counter clockwise movement 42 b are the seventh and eighth directions of motion, or fourth degree of freedom. This is detected by sensor 6 b in FIG. 2 a as is described later.

The resilient member 1 a is interposed between the handles 2 a, 2 b so that when the right handle 2 b moves towards the left handle 2 a debris is avoided from entering the handles. It is contemplated that the resilient member 1 a is a booth or a sealing bellows which provides a biasing force when retracted. The resilient member 1 a is attached between the handles in any form as well known to those in connecting booth or resilient bellows. In particular, ends of the resilient member 1 a can be snapped into corresponding grooves and held in place with snap rings or held in placed by capping halves of the shells forming the handles.

FIG. 1A shows the left handle 2 a having a thumb cavity 2 b, at least four buttons 2 c, two trigger buttons 2 d, as seen in better view in FIG. 1B, and a ball portion 2 h. The location of the at least four buttons 2 c is contemplated to be at the thumb cavity 2 b. The ball portion 2 h forms part of a ball joint and extends from a projection 2 e attached to the handle. The projection 2 e is not necessary thus the ball portion 2 h can simply be directly joined to the left handle 2 a. The handle 2 a is made of a top shell 2 x and a bottom shell 2 y. The bottom shell 2 y is composed of three cavities 2 f to conform to three fingers.

The bottom shell 2 y houses electric circuitry 3 containing the communication module to interface with a computer. The commutation module may be wireless or wired. The electric circuitry 3 to the controller may be battery operated. For instance, a battery pack can be installed to the top shell of either or both of the handles 2 a, 2 b. The bottom shell 2 y further contains a spring blocker 2 a 1, a pivot projection 2 a 2. The spring blocker 2 a 1 acts as a stopper to a conical spring 9, shown in FIG. 2, for the spring 9 to rest on. The spring blocker 2 a 1 of the top shell 2 x, when in combination with another spring blocker 2 a 1 of the bottom shell 2 y, house the spring 9. A key 2 a 3 projects from the pivot projection 2 a 2 which serves to rotate a fourth potentiometer 6 d shown in FIG. 2A and mounted to the outer frame 12. The fourth potentiometer 6 d is controlled by the pivotal motions 40 a, 40 b, as shown in FIG. 18 a, to control either yaw, roll, steering, or camera view. For instance, the pivotal motions 40 a, 40 b of the handle would respectively control right and left sight in a shooter game, control yaw in a flying object, or steering of a car. Although, not shown, the upper shell 2 x contains a similar spring blocker 2 a 1 and a similar pivot projection 2 a 2 without the key 2 a 3 as shown in the lower shell 2 y. The bottom shell 2 y further comprises a conical opening 2 a 4 containing part of the telescoping device 200 as shown in FIG. 1C.

FIG. 1D shows an isometric view of a bottom shell 2 z of the right handle 2 b. The bottom shell 2 z contains a portion of a ball socket 2Z1. The ball socket 2Z1 is shown in half so that when a mirror image rests on top the two halves form a 360 degree ball socket to mate with the ball portion 2 h. The radius of curvature of the ball socket and the ball portion is made relative to the centre of the pivot projection 2 a 2. A recess 2 z 2 is provided at a quadrant of the ball socket 2 z 1. Although not shown, a locking projection may be included in the bottom shell 2 z to retain the telescoping device.

FIGS. 2, 2 a, 2 b, and 2 c show the coupling mechanism 100 including a gimbal 150 and a telescoping device 200. The gimbal 150 is made of an outer frame 12 and an inner frame comprising two half covers 10, 30 joined together to form the inner frame that is rotatable relative to the outer frame 12. The inner frame is joined to the outer frame 12 by two half cylinders 10 c, 30 g and an anti-rotation stud 24. The outer frame 12 is in this exemplary view as being rectangular with walls 12 a, 12 b however other shapes are contemplated. The outer frame 12 contains two pairs of opposed openings 12 c that allow the outer frame 12 to pivot relative to the left handle 12 a and respectively allow the pivot projections 2 a 2 of the upper and lower shells of the left handle to be inserted. One of the pairs of opposed openings allow the inner member of the gimbal to rotate relative to the outer frame 12. The anti-rotation stud 24 is embedded between the two half covers 10, 30 comprising the inner member of the gimbal. The anti-rotation stud 24 shown in FIG. 5 comprises a non-circular portion 24 a and a circular portion 24 b. A key 24 c projects from the circular portion 24 b to rotate a third potentiometer 6 c mounted to the outer frame 12 as seen in FIG. 2A. The third potentiometer 6 c is controlled by the pivotal motions 43 a, 43 b of the right handle relative to the left handle at fixed point 40. The pivotal motions 43 a, 43 b can represent roll or yaw. It is contemplated that the pivotal motions 43 a, 43 b can respectively represent left movement and right movement of a player in a video game, steering of a vehicle, or controlling left and right camera view or camera sight.

The first half cover 10 and the second half cover 30 comprise the inner member and are joined to each other using any fastener 7 as illustrated in FIG. 2A. The first half cover 10 as seen in FIG. 3 comprises a body 10 a having several openings 10 b for insertion of the fastener 7. These openings 10 b can be threaded or non-threaded. The first half cover 10 further includes a half cylindrical projection 10 c forming a pivot. The first half cover 10 further includes an anti-rotation cavity 10 e that correspond to half the shape of the non-circular portion 24 b of the anti-rotation stud 24. The anti-rotation cavity 10 e blends with a circular cavity 10 f corresponding to half the shape of the circular portion of the anti-rotation stud 24. The first half cover 10 further comprises a shallow circular opening 10 h delimited by two opposed limiters 10 d for setting forth a range of motion of the telescoping device 200. The first half cover 10 further includes a wall 10 i having a through opening 10 g. The wall 10 i supports a second potentiometer 6 b as seen in FIG. 2A. The first half cover 10 further includes a radial arcuate opening 10 j to allow end portions of a leaf spring 28 to extend thus retaining the leaf spring in place. The first half cover 10 includes end walls 10 k forming the arcuate opening 10 j.

The second half cover 30 of the inner frame contains similar features as those found in the first half cover 10, as seen in FIG. 3. The second half cover 30 similarly contains a body 30 a, several fastener openings 30 b, a shallow circular opening 10 h delimited by two opposed limiters 10 d for setting forth the same range of motion of the telescoping device 200. The cover 30 further includes the same anti-rotation cavity 10 e that corresponds to half the shape of the non-circular portion 24 b of the anti-rotation stud 24. The anti-rotation cavity 10 e blends with a circular cavity 10 f corresponding to half the shape of the circular portion of the anti-rotation stud 24. The cover 30 further includes a rotating cavity 30 c and a through opening 30 d in the body 30 a. A spring delimiter opening 30 e extends from one side of the body to the rotating cavity 30 c which contains two opposed delimiters 30 f which act as stoppers for the leaf spring 28. The cover 30 contains a half cylindrical projection 30 g that acts as a pivot in conjunction with the half cylindrical projection 10 c of the first cover 10. The half cylindrical projection 30 g contains a flat sector 30 h extending at an angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the cylindrical projection 30 h to allow ease of insertion of the second cover into one of the pivot holes 12 c of the outer frame 12.

The telescoping device 200 comprises an outer member 16 and an inner member 18 telescoping inside the outer member 16. The outer member 16 comprises a body 16 a having a cylindrical shape. One end of the body 16 a has a wall 16 b, an axial opening 16 g allowing the inner member 18 to slide therein.

The wall 16 b contains an opening 16 c to allow a twisted key 18 j of the inner member 18 to pass through and engage a first potentiometer 6 a to control forward motion or backward motion of a player in a video game when the inner member 18 telescopes in either left or right movements 41 a, 41 b, as seen in FIG. 18 a, relative to the outer member 16. These left and right movements 41 a, 41 b, alternatively, can be reconfigured to control up and down motion of an object, to control throttle of a helicopter or any flying machine, or acceleration of a car. The movements 41 a, 41 b were intuitively associated, for instance, to forward and backward motion of a player as a way to provide exercise or therapy to a user of the controller. The outer member 16 further contains at least one axial slot 16 e along a quadrant of the cylindrical body 16 a to receive a spring pusher 5 to be encapsulated by a cap 20 as shown in FIG. 17. The body 16 a further contains a retaining opening 16 d which prevents the outer member 16 from sliding or turning once fixed to the right handle. The axial opening 16 g contains a spring pusher 16 f integral with the cylindrical body 16 a. It is contemplated that the spring pusher 16 f can be separated from the body 16 a.

The inner member 18 comprises a shaft 18 a, an annular flange 18 d, a first retaining flange 18 b, a second retaining flange 18 c spaced along the shaft 18 a, and a twisted key 18 j. The annular flange 18 d contains a stopper 18 e projecting from the annular flange 18 d and an arcuate slot 18 f opposite the stopper 18 e. The flange 18 d is sandwiched between the first cover 10 and the second cover 30 thus allowing the flange 18 d to rotate therein within any desired range. A spring 27 is interposed between the first retaining flange 18 b and the second retaining flange 18 c. It is envisioned that the spring 27 is inserted between the retaining flanges 18 b, 18 c using the spiral groove 18 i which connects into the space between the retaining flanges 18 b, 18 c. Each of the retaining flanges 18 b, 18 c contains a d-flat 18 k for preventing the inner member 18 from rotating relative to the outer member 16. The d-flats 18 k cooperate with a d-flat 16 h on the outer member 16 so that when the right handle is rotated or twisted along the telescoping axis, the telescoping member rotates relative to the gimbal 150 causing a second potentiometer 6 b to rotate and registering counter clockwise or clockwise movements 42 a, 42 b, as seen in FIG. 18 b, and respectively representing up and down sight in a shooter game or driving game, or representing pitch to control a helicopter or airplane. A key 18L projects from one end of the inner member 18 of the telescoping device engaging the second potentiometer 6 b, as seen in FIG. 2C.

The leaf spring 28, shown in FIG. 15, comprises a cylindrical loop 28 a terminating at each end with a hook projection 28 b. The hook projection 28 b becomes sandwiched between the two half covers 10, 30 which allow the inner member of the telescoping member to be biased to a neutral location. When the telescoping device 200 rotates in one direction, one of the hook projections 28 b disengages from one of the delimiters 30 f while the other hook projection 28 b engages with the spring carrier 18 g to flex the spring 28.

The description contemplates that the coupling device 100 is interposed between the two handles such that the gimbal 150 is pivotally fixed to the left handle, or vice versa, and the telescoping device 200 is fixed to the other corresponding handle.

The electronics shown FIG. 19 inject a set current into the potentiometers 6 a-6 b and convert the resulting analogue voltage into digital signals, representing sight, motion or both. These may be converted according to a standard compatible with a game console or computer which processes the digital signals to thereby control the motion or sight of a virtual character. The game console or computer then generates a video signal to allow the virtual character to be dynamically shown on a display.

The invention contemplates using potentiometers having a corresponding key as those found in the coupling device 100 or of any other lock engagement shape. The buttons can be electronically reconfigured to do any number of actions such as jumping, crouching, flying, zooming a viewer's sight, etc. Also, more buttons than those shown can be implemented.

Numerous modifications can be made to the controller, depending on the application. For instance, the resilient member 1 a, interposed between the handles 2 a, 2 b, can be avoided. The resilient member 1 a can also take any resilient shape. While FIGS. 2, 2 a, provides for the controller without a locking device for locking the position of the telescoping device 200, an embodiment can be construed with a locking device. The handles 2 a, 2 b each can have more than one cavity 2 f to conform to at least one finger except the thumb. The non-circular portion 24 a of the anti-rotation stud 24 although shown being rectangular can take any shape that prevents rotation. The quantity of the spring pushers 16 f, 5 can be more than one and be respectively integral or separated from the outer member of the telescoping member and cap, and fit in axial slots 18 h in the retaining flanges 18 c, 18 b. The leaf spring 28 that biases the rotatable telescoping device 200 can be of any other form as long as the telescoping device 200 retracts to a neutral position. The spring 28 can simply be replaced with two springs and be embedded between the first half cover 10 and the second half cover 30 instead of being outside the inner member of the telescoping device. It should also be noted that the drawings are not drawn to scale and dimensional extents of every individual component can simply be modified to be extended or shortened. Further, all of the components can be simply made from any known material. The resilient member 1 a although being made of rubber can simply be made of any other known resilient material. The anti-rotation stud 24 although being separate from the first half cover 10 and the second half cover 30 can be integral with either half cover or shared between the half covers. The potentiometers 6 a-6 d can be respectively mounted via any known method or housed in corresponding mounting cavities. The shape of the outer member 16 can be of any other shape than cylindrical.

The coupling mechanism 100 can also be envisioned into one distinct unit such that the left handle can simply be replaced with any form of housing and entirely avoiding the left handle. This modification simply will allow one to place the unit attached between two separate handles where the housing becomes mounted to one handle and the telescoping device becomes mounted to a second handle.

The electronics and corresponding software may be used to calibrate the controller. Each of the potentiometers 6 a-6 d can be configured to electrically convert motion such that at least one of the potentiometers converts motion from a neutral position into forward motion when the potentiometer rotates clockwise or when the potentiometer rotates counter clockwise into backward motion, or vice versa, preferably caused by the telescoping device 200. The potentiometers 6 can be substituted for other sensors. Although a neutral position is envisioned as ordinary controllers, the electronics and corresponding software can be reconfigured to reverse motion instantly. The range of travel of the potentiometers may be from 0-60 degrees, or the range can be extended to its full 360 degrees of travel or to any desired range. Further, the coupling mechanism 100 can be reversed so that the gimbal is rather mounted to the right handle. The ball socket and the ball portion can also be reversed. The opening 2 g in which the inner member 18 comes out of the first handle 2 a, although being shown circular, the opening 2 g can simply have any other shape such as rectangular, square, or triangular.

The cap 20 although contemplated to be joined to the outer member 16 by threading, the joining can be by snap fitting, friction fitting, gluing, welding or fastening using screws, bolts, or rivets to provide a fixed joint. As shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, the cap 20 inherently includes a cylindrical wall 20 a, an opening 20 b, and a cover 20 c having an opening 20 e with a d-flat 20 d. The opening 20 e corresponds in shape to the first retaining flange 18 b and the second retaining flange 18 c.

Further, the use of the twisted portion to translate telescoping motion to rotational motion can be replaced with a linear potentiometer so that when the handles telescope, motion is registered using the linear potentiometer. Further, the telescoping device can be in the right handle, or in the left handle such that a shaft projects onto the right handle and be fixedly connected to the right handle. It is also contemplated that the spring 27 that is mounted between the two flanges of the inner member 18 can be avoided to provide a longer range of travel thus avoiding a neutral position. Although not shown, the right handle can be joined to the telescoping device via a ball joint connection, a constant velocity joint, or a pivot extending perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the right handle.

It will be understood by those skilled in the technology that many variations in design, construction or operation may be made without departing from scope as claimed.

Claims (31)

1. A controller comprising:
a first handle,
a second handle, and
a gimbal and a telescoping device mounted to the gimbal; the telescoping device being fixed to the first handle or the second handle and the gimbal being pivotally fixed to the other handle wherein the gimbal and the telescoping device couple the first handle and the second handle.
2. The controller of claim 1, wherein the gimbal sets forth a first pivotal axis and a second pivotal axis perpendicular to each other, and in a neutral position the telescoping device projects perpendicular to the first pivotal axis and the second pivotal axis along a third axis.
3. The controller of claim 2, wherein at least a portion of the telescoping device is rotatable about the third axis.
4. The controller of claim 3, wherein the gimbal comprises an outer frame rotatably mounted to the first handle and an inner frame rotatably mounted to the outer frame.
5. The controller of claim 4, wherein the telescoping device comprises an outer member, an inner member slidable through an axial opening of the telescoping outer member, and a cap having a through opening through which the telescoping outer member passes.
6. The controller of claim 5, further comprising a first sensor configured to detect bi-rotatable motion about the first axis, a second sensor configured to detects bi-rotatable motion about the second axis, and a third sensor and a fourth sensor configured to detect bi-rotatable motions about the third axis.
7. The controller of claim 5, where the telescoping outer member extends through an opening in the first handle.
8. The controller of claim 6, wherein the gimbal inner frame comprises a first half cover and a second half cover; the telescoping inner member mounted between the first half cover and the second half cover, the gimbal inner frame further having a stopper to limit rotational motion of the telescoping inner member.
9. The controller of claim 6, wherein the telescoping inner member comprises a twisted portion along the third axis and engages with the fourth sensor.
10. The controller of claim 5, wherein the telescoping inner member comprises a first retaining flange and a second retaining flange spaced apart, and a coil spring between the first retaining flange and the second retaining flange; the telescoping outer member having at least one spring pusher extending along a longitudinal axis of the axial opening of the outer member; the first annular flange comprises at least one slot to interact with the at least one spring pusher and to bias the coil spring; and the telescoping device further comprising at least one more spring pusher engaging an axial slot of the telescoping outer member to bias the coil spring in an opposite direction of the telescoping inner member.
11. The controller of claim 10, wherein the telescoping outer member further comprises a d-flat extending along the longitudinal axis of the telescoping outer member, the d-flat interacts with a d-flat in each the first retaining flange and the second retaining flange.
12. The controller of claim 6, wherein the first handle further comprises a pivot projection extending along the first pivotal axis of the gimbal outer frame; and the pivot projection includes a key engaging the first sensor mounted on the gimbal outer frame.
13. The controller of claim 6, wherein the gimbal inner frame comprises a key interacting with the second sensor mounted on the gimbal outer frame.
14. The controller of claim 6, wherein the telescoping inner frame further comprises an end portion having a key projecting axially along the third axis and interacting with the third sensor mounted on the gimbal inner frame.
15. The controller of claim 4, further comprising at least one spring blocker and a spring abutting the gimbal inner frame to bias the gimbal to a neutral position.
16. The controller of claim 8, wherein the telescoping device is biased by a leaf spring mounted to the gimbal inner member; and at least one of the first half cover and the second half cover comprise at least one arcuate limiter setting forth a range of travel of the leaf spring.
17. The controller of claim 1, wherein the first handle further comprises a ball portion and the second handle further comprises a ball socket, or vice versa, to mate with the ball portion.
18. The controller of claim 17, in which a resilient member is connected between the first handle and the second handle.
19. The controller of claim 18, in which the resilient member covers the ball socket, the ball portion, the gimbal and the telescoping device.
20. The controller of claim 5, wherein the second handle comprises at least one locking projection retaining the telescoping outer member.
21. The controller of claim 7, in which the opening of the first handle is conical or rectangular.
22. The controller of claim 1, further comprising electric circuitry, a communication module and an energy source.
23. The controller of claim 1, in which the first handle and the second handle each contains a thumb cavity containing four or more push buttons or sensors and at least one index trigger.
24. The controller of claim 15, in which the second handle is connected to the outer member of the telescoping device by a constant velocity joint, a ball joint, or a pivot joint extending perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the second handle.
25. A controller comprising:
a first handle configured to be held by a user;
a mechanical coupling between the first handle and a reference point configured to limit pivoting motion of the first handle in first and second degrees of freedom, translational motion of the first handle in a third degree of freedom and rotating motion of the at least one handle in a fourth degree of freedom;
at least one sensor to detect the position and/or movement of the first handle relative to reference point in each of the four degrees of freedom; and
a circuit receiving the sensor outputs and providing an output signal indicative of the position and/or movement of the at least one handle relative to reference point.
26. The controller of claim 25, further comprising a second handle attached to the mechanical coupling, wherein the reference point is proximate the attachment between the second handle and the mechanical coupling.
27. The controller of claim 25, wherein the mechanical coupling includes a mechanism selected from the group consisting of:
a gimbal;
a constant velocity joint,
a pivot joint,
a universal joint, and
a ball joint.
28. The controller of claim 25, wherein the mechanical coupling comprises a gimbal attached to a telescopic device.
29. The controller of claim 28, wherein a first sensor is configured to measure the pivoting in a first axis of the gimbal relating to the first degree of freedom, a second sensor is configured to measure the pivoting in a second axis of the gimbal relating the second degree of freedom, a third sensor is configured to measure the translating of the telescopic device in the third degree of freedom and a forth sensor is configured to measure the rotation of the telescopic device in the forth degree of freedom.
30. A gaming system comprising
a controller according to claim 1, and
a processor configured to receive an output signal from the controller and provide a video signal depending on the relative position or movement of the first handle.
31. The gaming system of claim 30 further comprising a display configured to display a game depending on the video signal.
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JPH07116351A (en) 1993-10-22 1995-05-09 Sugiyama Electron:Kk Controller for game machine
JPH08103567A (en) 1994-05-31 1996-04-23 Namco Ltd Controller of domestic game machine
WO1999024965A1 (en) 1997-11-07 1999-05-20 Cook Brandt A Multi-axis controller for virtual and real 3d space
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WO2005103869A2 (en) 2004-04-21 2005-11-03 Ci3 Limited Controller
US20080214306A1 (en) 2005-10-14 2008-09-04 New Concept Gaming Limited Controller
US20110080563A1 (en) * 2009-10-07 2011-04-07 Greaves Nigel J Gimbaled handle stabilizing controller assembly
US20120081670A1 (en) * 2009-10-07 2012-04-05 Greaves Nigel J Gimbaled handle stabilizing controller assembly
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JPH07116351A (en) 1993-10-22 1995-05-09 Sugiyama Electron:Kk Controller for game machine
JPH08103567A (en) 1994-05-31 1996-04-23 Namco Ltd Controller of domestic game machine
WO1999024965A1 (en) 1997-11-07 1999-05-20 Cook Brandt A Multi-axis controller for virtual and real 3d space
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WO2017143404A1 (en) * 2016-02-25 2017-08-31 Box Dark Industries Articulated gaming controller

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